Cofidis announces Tour team

David Moncoutié and Rik Verbrugghe will lead the Cofidis team for this year's Tour de France, which starts in Strasbourg on July 1. Team manager Eric Boyer told AFP that he was relying on the duo to go for stage wins during the three-week race. "This is a team of warriors, of irregulars, who have already won at the highest level," he said of Moncoutié and Verbrugghe's previous stage victories in grand tours.

The Cofidis squad will contain the first British rider to start the Tour since 2003 as Bradley Wiggins goes for a win in the prologue. Sylvain Chavanel will also go for stage wins, but will not have any special ambition for the general classification.

Boyer explained that he had chosen not to field Leonardo Bertagnolli after the Italian pulled out of the Dauphine and the Giro earlier this year. "He is having trouble recovering," said Boyer. Stéphane Augé was chosen over Geoffroy Lequatre who will get his chance at a three-week Tour in the Vuelta a Espana in September, Boyer added.

The Cofidis team for the Tour de France will therefore be Stéphane Augé, Jimmy Casper, Sylvain Chavanel, Arnaud Coyot, David Moncoutié, Cristian Moreni, Ivan Parra, Rik Verbrugghe, and Bradley Wiggins.

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